MINOT AIR FORCE BASE Amid record temperatures dipping well below minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit, the 48th Annual Team Minot Sportsmen Feed was held at the Jimmy Doolittle Center at Minot Air Force Base Jan. 20.
The event brought together Minot Air Force Base families and guests from the downtown community to sample an endless supply of wild game and participate in continuous activities.
To make the event possible, members of the Minot community and civic leaders donated and prepared wild game. For each ticket sold, an airman was able to attend the event for free. Many senior leaders purchased tickets to sponsor airmen and their families.
Exquisite wild-game appetizers and dishes were served ranging from breaded walleye to South Dakota bison.
"Half of [the airmen] have never even had wild game before," said Betty Fedorchak, business owner and member of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce. "Now that we have cell phones, they come in here and read the menu to their parents on the phone."
"It is absolutely fabulous listening to them. They are having a great time," she added.
Attendees had the opportunity to play bingo and darts, participate in a bean bag toss tournament and win prizes donated by various downtown businesses.
"It's a lot of great food and a great time," said Master Sgt. James Morgan, 705th Munitions Squadron first sergeant. "You get to hang out and visit with a lot of people outside of the actual job and just enjoy yourself."
For football fans, the NFL's conference championships were presented on two projectors in the main hall, as well as on all the television sets in the lounge area.
The annual tradition continues to strengthen the relationship between Minot AFB and the local communities.
"The town has always been really good about sponsoring the base and has been very supportive of what we do," Morgan said. "That relationship increases the productivity in what we do from day-to-day."
Fedorchak stated the Sportsmen's Feed is a way for the community of Minot to show their support to the families at Minot AFB.
"They are not just a base, they are family to us while they are here," Fedorchak said. "They are part of our community. We want them to belong and we want to show them that. This is one of our ways of showing them."
The Sportsmen's Feed is co-sponsored by the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce, its Military Affairs Committee and the Minot AFB First Sergeant's Council.